An award-winning actor, producer and creator, Wayne Burns may be most recognized for role as Lykos, the Prince of Athens, in the Syfy Original Series, Olympus. Based in Toronto, Wayne is a prolific contributor to the city’s arts scene, both through his acting and personal contributions to city’s cultural fabric. Recently chosen as one of Now Magazine‘s Breakthrough Artists of 2017, he is certainly one to watch.
Since graduating from the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada, Wayne has had the pleasure of working in the company of some of Canada’s most reputable artists including Brendan Healy, Nina Lee Aquino, Philip Akin, Weyni Mengehsa, David Latham, Paul Gross, Jackie Maxwell and Yäel Farber. Eager to learn more about his craft, Wayne continued his arts education in Toronto through the Factory Theatre Mechanicals Program, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, Theatre Ontario and the SummerWorks Leadership Intensive.
As an actor, Wayne has been featured on Canadian favourites: Mr. D, Murdoch Mysteries, The Baroness Von Sketch Show, and Remedy, as well as in award-winning feature films, Blackbird, opposite Connor Jessup (Falling Skies, Closet Monster) & Alex Ozerov (The Americans, Bitten), and All the Wrong Reasons, where he played alongside the late Cory Montieth (Glee). On stage, Wayne has had the pleasure of originating roles in David S. Craig’s, Tough Case (Left Foot First), Michal Grzejszczak’s, Boys from the Burbs (Empty Room Collective), Paul Ledoux’s, Merlin (Halifax Theatre for Young People) and Michael Ross Albert’s, Miss (Unit 102 Actors Company).
In addition to his acting projects, Wayne successfully established his own production company, Dresser Drawer. The company currently facilitates the creation and production of film, web and theatre-based projects. Over the past two years he has produced six short films, and one stage tour. His films, The Gift Giver and Project: CNY, have gone on to play internationally renowned festivals including, REELWorld Film Festival, Toronto Youth Shorts (Winner – Industry Choice Award), InsideOut LGBT Film Festival, OUTeast Queer Film Festival, North Carolina Lesbian + Gay Film Festival, NewFest – New York’s LGBT Film Festival and Image + Nation: Montreal’s LGBT Film Festival. His tour of LIONESS was extremely well received, playing to sold out houses in Truro, Halifax & Toronto.
A champion of community-based projects, Wayne is also a co-founder, and Experience Architect, of Dark Nights: A Conversations Series, currently in residence at The Gladstone Hotel . Designed to demystify the creative life, this series challenges success driven culture head on, by establishing space for real conversation, raising the value of Ontario by highlighting local talent and advocating peer mentorship. In collaboration with Luke Reece, this series has facilitated and archived thought provoking and deeply personal conversations with 35 (and growing) artists over the past two years. The Ontario Arts Council is funding the third season of this program, which is currently in development and set to launch Spring 2018.
Wayne divides his time between Toronto, New York and Nova Scotia.